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Becton Dickinson Q1 Revenues up 26 Percent, Beat Estimates

NEW YORK – Becton Dickinson reported Thursday that its fiscal first quarter 2021 earnings rose 26 percent year over year attributed in part to $867 million in COVID-19 diagnostic sales.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2020 the company posted revenues of $5.32 billion compared to $4.23 billion in the year-ago quarter. The revenues exceeded Wall Street analysts' average estimate of $4.88 billion and was in line with the firm's preliminary Q1 results. On a currency-neutral basis, revenues grew 24 percent, the firm said.

"BD has emerged as an essential partner to help the world respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, from diagnostics to devices used in treatment to injection devices for vaccines and real-time surveillance and reporting," said Tom Polen, BD's CEO, in a statement.

The company's Life Sciences segment recorded $1.98 billion in revenues, up from $1.12 billion in Q1 2020, an increase of 76 percent. The $867 million in COVID-19 diagnostic revenues included BD Veritor Plus System revenues of $688 million, with the remaining related to the BD Max COVID-19 tests and sample collection and transport devices.

Within Life Sciences, integrated diagnostic solutions revenues were up 163 percent to $1.01 billion from $386, while biosciences revenues fell 21 percent to $120 million from $152 million. BD attributed the decline to a difficult comparison to the prior year, offset by continued recovery in research and clinical lab activity and the benefit from COVID-19 vaccine research. Also, while there was continued improvement in routine diagnostic testing and specimen collection as procedure volumes recovered, these remained below pre-COVID levels.

Revenues from the company's US business rose 29 percent to $3.13 billion from $2.43 billion a year ago. Revenues from international markets were up 22 percent to $2.19 billion from $1.80 billion driven by performance in Europe.

In the quarter, BD surpassed 1 billion injection device orders for global COVID-19 vaccination campaigns and continued to expand COVID-19 diagnostic testing manufacturing capacity for the BD Veritor Plus System and BD Max molecular platforms. The firm announced a COVID-19 patient management indication for its CE-marked BD Multitest 6-ColorTBNK Reagent with BD Trucount Tube immune cell counting product and launched the BD AbSeq Immune Discovery Panel which interrogates 30 immune markers simultaneously.

BD Medical revenues grew 11 percent to $2.26 billion from $2.09 billion, while BD Interventional revenues rose 7 percent to $1.08 billion from $1.01 billion.

BD recorded a net income for the quarter of $1.00 billion, or $3.35 per share, compared to a net income of $278 million, or $.87 per share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, the company reported Q1 EPS of $4.55, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $3.11 per share.

Q1 R&D expenses rose 8 percent year over year to $291 million from $270 million, while SG&A costs were up 3 percent to $1.15 billion from $1.12 billion a year earlier.

The Franklin Lakes, New Jersey-based company finished the quarter with $3.25 billion in cash and cash equivalents and $17 million in short-term investments. 

The firm said it is raising its guidance for fiscal year 2021. It now expects revenues to grow 12 percent to 14 percent on a reported basis and 10 percent to 12 percent on a currency-neutral basis. This compares to the company's prior guidance of high single to low double-digit revenue growth on a reported basis.

Expected adjusted EPS for the full fiscal year was also increased to a new range of $12.75 to $12.85 compared to a prior guidance of between $12.40 and $12.60. The current adjusted EPS guidance range would represent growth of approximately 25 percent to 26 percent over fiscal 2020 adjusted EPS of $10.20, BD said. The analysts' average estimate is for $12.58 for the year.

BD shares were down approximately 1 percent to $259.47 in early Thursday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.